Rowing: WVU Qualifies for Semifinals

  • By Tiffany Doolittle
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  • May 13, 2011 06:10 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rowing team completed heat racing at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa., today, with each boat qualifying for the semifinals in their respective races

The semifinals will be held in the morning, followed by the petite and grand finals throughout the afternoon. All final races will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.com.

"The competition increases significantly in tomorrow morning's semis,” says coach Jimmy King. “All of our crews will have to elevate their performances in order to make their respective finals."

Amanda Hirsch and sophomore Danielle Widecrantz started the day with a second-place finish in heat three of the Open 2- event. The duo crossed the line in 8:35.14, behind Loyola (8:21.25) and ahead of Georgia Tech (8:37.13), Bowdoin (8:42.37), Hofistra (8:58.86) and Washington (9:30.20).

The Varsity 8+ boat of Rachel Viglianco, Kaitlyn Brownson, Jenelle Spencer, Shannon Gribbons, Hilary Meale, Rachelle Purych, Karen Verwey, Courtney Schrand and coxswain Mallory Fisher continued to represent the Mountaineers with another second-place finish in heat five of the Varsity Heavyweight Eight race.

The crew crossed the line in 6:54.10, within five seconds of St. Josephs time of 6:49.53, which won the heat. Jacksonville (7:00.19), Temple (7:01.58), Lehigh (7:13.32) and Eastern Michigan (7:15.49) followed.

WVU’s Novice 4+ crew of Mollie Rosen, Tamyra Roberts, Danika Rencken, Christina Mehrtens with coxswain Morgan Leach also qualified for the semifinals after finishing in second of heat four, with a time of 8:11.59.

Brock University will be joining the Mountaineers in the semifinals with a qualifying time of 8:06.99, ahead of Philadelphia (8:52.96), Stony Brook (9:15.35) and Brandeis (9:15.85).

"Our crews raced very well today,” adds King. “The Varsity 8+ lineup has been steady this year, but the Novice 4+ and Open 2- lineups are new combinations that were put together in the past two weeks. We're particularly pleased with today's results by those crews, because the pressure was on them to perform right away in order to advance to the semis.”

The Novice 4+ boat is set to race at 7 a.m., followed by the Open 2- event at 8:32 a.m. and the Varsity 8+ race at 10:15 a.m. The Novice 4+ and Open 2- crews will have one opportunity to compete in the grand final of their respective races, while the Varsity 8+ boat can also qualify to race in the petite finals.